6 practical considerations for planning your 2021 children’s ministry

December 15, 2020

One of the more difficult tasks children’s ministry leaders may have as 2020 comes to a close is planning for 2021.

So many of our plans vanished in the blink of an eye in the wake of COVID-19 restrictions. Events such as Easter egg hunts, Vacation Bible School (VBS) and fall festivals, as well as weekly group meetings, all disappeared. And we really don’t know what 2021 will offer for robust in-person meetings and events.

So how do we plan knowing that all of our efforts could disappear in an instant? Here are six considerations to keep in mind.

  1. Plan ‘loosely’
    First of all, we have to plan “loosely.” In 1981, the rock band .38 Special had a hit song titled, “Hold on Loosely.” The opening lyrics go, “You see it all around you//Good lovin’ gone bad.” If we were to write a parody of the song in 2020, the second line might read, “Good plannin’ gone bad.” We have to plan for 2021 as if our plans may “go bad.” Plan B and even plan C have to be on paper in case our plan A becomes impossible to do.
  2. Plan purposefully
    We also have to reconnect with our “why” and plan with what is most effective in answering that important question. Having a multitude of scheduled activities as in the past will overwhelm our parents and volunteers in 2021. Our planning must reflect our vision and mission in a more focused way since we may have fewer opportunities for interacting with children and families. Make sure to get the “most bang for the buck” in whatever you plan.
  3. Plan inter-generationally
    If our opportunities for in-person ministry are reduced, how can we make each meeting have the most value? Our ministry teams may need to include planning for families and more inclusive groups. Can we offer a family VBS, picnics at the park with planned games and activities, and inter-generational family worship?
  4. Plan personally
    Many training events and conferences are now online. No longer do you have the prohibitive cost of travel and hotels in order to take part in great training. Find a conference and intentionally schedule time on your calendar to take part. Consider sharing short times of online training with your volunteers, remembering your volunteers’ personal schedules. This is a great time to ramp up your skills in preparation for what the new year will bring. Ministry trainings like the upcoming “TELL 2021” virtual event offer great equipping for your team.
  5. Plan for community and fellowship
    Leaders who have stayed connected in meaningful ways with their volunteers in 2020 are the ones who are having an easier time recruiting those same leaders for 2021. As you build community in your church, share your vision for children’s ministry in 2021. Emphasize the vision more than just the immediate need.
  6. Plan ‘old-school’
    Remote learning and Zoom fatigue have damaged attempts to connect with children and families through the internet. Consider connecting with families who do not return to your church for Sunday services through phone messages, porch packages and “snail mail.” Don’t give up your communication efforts until asked to stop by the parents.

Planning may look and sound different in 2021 but is critical for effective ministry. Don’t assume the need for planning doesn’t exist in this season. In all honesty, it has never been more important as a reflection of your leadership and vision for the future of your church. Plan well and with hope for the future. It’s worth it!


by Cheryl Markland  
/  Childhood Evangelism and Discipleship  /  Baptist State Convention of North Carolina

Caraway celebrates 60 years of ministry and memories

North Carolina Baptists joined forces in July 1962 to cultivate a powerful new tool to help churches reach and disciple more people — Camp Caraway. Now, decades later, the camp continues to serve N.C. Baptists and will celebrate its 60th summer this July.  Situated on more than...

How leaders can bridge generational gaps in Asian American churches

Many Asian American churches provide spaces for Asian immigrants to continue worshiping similarly to how they did in their home countries. They offer a familiar community and a home away from home. What can often be overlooked, however, is the cultural gap between immigrant...

On death and dying, as it relates to churches

In 1969, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, a Swiss-American psychiatrist, wrote the classic book On Death and Dying. This work, chronicling lessons she learned with terminally ill patients, outlined the five stages that all people go through as they near death. Beginning when they are...

4 symptoms to watch for when assessing pastoral health

In preparation for this article I confess I did Google, “How to know if a pastor is healthy?” The number of articles, blogs and sites addressing the increasing issue of pastoral health did not disappoint. After all, we are hopefully coming out of the most difficult time of...

Fisher retires after 36 years at Caldwell Association

Dale Fisher received quite the surprise on his 70th birthday. Not only did ministry colleagues serenade him with a rendition of “Happy Birthday” during the N.C. Associational Missions Conference in early April, they also recognized Fisher for his long tenure of service in leading...

The power of a name: God’s faithfulness in mental health

If I have learned one lesson this year, it’s that there is power in a name. When we give our struggle a name, we are able to better distinguish truth from lie and work toward healing. Naming opens the door to freedom and sheds light on truth that can feel uncomfortable, exposing...

Scholarship to cover tuition for new Fruitland students

New students now have an opportunity to attend Fruitland Baptist Bible College tuition-free this fall. Fruitland recently announced a new scholarship that will cover tuition costs for new, full-time students attending the Hendersonville campus during the fall 2022 quarter. The...

Un pastor de Charlotte planta una segunda iglesia después de pasar meses en el hospital

El otoño pasado Oscar Muñoz por fin regresó al hogar después de pasar ocho meses en un hospital y también en un centro de rehabilitación donde recuperó sus fuerzas luego de batallar con complicaciones por causa del COVID-19.Unas semanas más tarde, alrededor del Día de Acción de...

1 Comment

  1. Karen Holcomb

    Good words! We’re having to do some “loose” planning for the upcoming year as well. Simply staying in touch with folks is a meaningful ministry. Thanks for the article!

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get the latest news and event information by signing up for the Childhood Ministry newsletter.

Select Language ^

Share This

Share this with your friends!